Why we’re obsessed with mid-century homes

home.byholly 12 November 2021
7 Juad Place, Aranda

The incredible Paterson House at 7 Juad Place, Aranda. Photo: home.byholly.

At home.byholly, we are in the business of connecting humans with homes, and we love it.

We love all homes, no matter the build, the vintage, the new or the old. We love finding ways to showcase each property’s story, creating narratives that are unique and empathetic.

Not surprisingly, each of us at home.byholly has a personal passion for mid-century homes in particular. These interests have endured for all our lives and continue to be a topic of conversation whenever we gather.

The genuine excitement is obvious when we arrive to appraise a home and see its butterfly roof, an atrium, exposed beams, yellow kitchen benchtops, bold decorative bathroom tile, etched glass cavity sliders, the list goes on. The more original, the better!


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The 60s and 70s represented a time of opulence in Australia when Canberra really came into its own.

The government commissioned world-renowned modernist architects like John Andrews, Robert Campbell, Harry Seidler, Michael Dysart and Enrico Taglietti to design and build some of our city’s most significant public buildings.

Universities, office buildings, schools, shops, cinemas all blossomed as new and exciting architectural hubs in the community. Many of these have endured and are now being protected and treasured by the ever-growing Canberra Modernist community.

Many may not know that Canberra was recognised internationally as ‘a city of design’, highlighted in a great Ted talk featured during Design Canberra 2017 by Darren Bradley – Uncovering Canberra’s modernist soul.

kitchen interior

The Cleland home is a divine MCM of the highest pedigree by architect Theo Bischoff. Photo: home.byholly.

Suburban Canberra progressively expanded around the community hubs and public civic centres, with homes being built to accommodate the growing population.

The community’s cultural and academic diversity brought in new skills, trades and professions, laying the foundations for what is now seen as the original Canberra.

Homes with architectural flair, timber panelling and decorative cornices popped up everywhere as we transitioned from a town to a city.

At home.byholly we believe that our personal passion for modernist architecture is why homeowners engage us to market and sell these unique pieces of Canberran history. We know that homes like these need custodians. We never market them as clichéd ‘renovators delights’, and we are committed to telling their story authentically.

home.byholly agent Sally Strang had the experience of managing the campaign for the incredible Paterson House at 7 Juad Place, Aranda, and it is one she will never forget. We all felt privileged to spend so much time at the property and loved learning more about the architect, Enrico Taglietti, the story of the home and its design.

The engagement during the marketing campaign was phenomenal. Sally had mid-century architecture enthusiasts and media from all around the country getting in touch. The sheer number of people at every inspection was a testament that the love of modernist design and architecture is huge within the Canberra community.

house interior

You won’t find Robert Campbell’s name on the list of influential modernist architects that shaped our city, yet this home in Aranda is of significance. Photo: home.byholly.

Finding the right buyer was the primary consideration for the Paterson family. When the new owners sent a beautifully worded email about their appreciation of the history of the house and explaining how they were looking for a home to be central to the story of their family, we knew they were the perfect fit.

When Holly marketed 33 Godfrey Street, Campbell (the cleland.home), she experienced a similar excitement. She wanted to do the home justice, to tell the story as the family had, with the heartfelt nostalgia and pride they had shared with her. The pitch was clear. The narrative supported the buyer we hoped to attract to determine the best possible outcome. The home was inspiring: the condition original, the garden extensive, the land enormous. This property called out for creative vision, a lover of modernism, and an enthusiastic, brave restoration.


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The cleland.home is a divine MCM of the highest pedigree by architect Theo Bischoff, a young Melbourne architect who established practice in Canberra in the 1950s. The perfect partnership was formed in 1961 with the modernist creative vision of Bischoff and the Cleland family who engaged the young architect to design a family home inspired by Lindsay and Sylvia’s love of Sunset Modern California. The cleland.home is characterised by Bischoff’s style of architecture. Influenced by simple, rectangular planning with internal courtyards, a limited palette of natural materials, and precise detailing.

These are just two of the exceptional homes we have recently sold. Add to the list several apartments and townhouses at the Blamey Heights complex in Campbell, homes within Michael Dysart’s much loved Urambi Villiage and Wybalena Grove, and Robert Campbell’s personal residence at 19 Mirning Crescent, Aranda.

With much excitement and gratitude, we have definitely developed a collection of mid-century home.byholly homes and look forward to the many more exceptional modernist properties that we will be able to photograph, communicate and celebrate.

To start the search for your mid-century modern home, visit home.byholly.

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